Home-grown from seeds - different leaves

krismattsonDecember 1, 2012

Hi! I have a nice hibiscus that I've had for a few years. It's in a pot which I put outside during the summer, and bring in for winter. It flowers (1-3 blossoms) all year. Awhile back it put out a seed pod! I had success getting 5 of the seeds to sprout and survive - they are now 4-5 inches tall and looking healthy. My question is this: three of the plants have leaves that are exactly like the parent plant, but two of the plants have very different leaves - three-lobed skinny non-serated leaves. Are these indeed hibiscus? Or was there some sort of unwanted seed in the potting soil I used? I'm convinced they grew from the seeds. Thanks for your help!


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Seeds are rarely true to parents. Many growers use cuttings to get true replicas of the original. And in some cases genetics can cause plants from the same pods to be different. Just like twins being different with people.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 3:59PM
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I have some seeds that are doing the same thing - think i posted them in the blooms thread. Looks like at least two have lobed leaves, the other two - have more normal looking leaves. According to my notes - these are all from the same pod. HIbisucs apparently are multipolids - so their genetics vary a huge amount. i also have set of three older seedlings - that i think are also from the same pod - all growing at different rates...

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 10:55PM
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I have both hardy and nonhardy habsicus plants that have produced seed pods. I am going to winter sow the hardy seeds but would like to know the best way to start the nonhardy seeds. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 1:14PM
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This is my method and seems to work well for hibiscus of any variety. Others may offer different approaches that also offer good results, but this method I gathered from marijuana growers, lol.

First is nicking the seed. Close inspection shows that a hibiscus seed is shaped like a lima bean or half moon. On the outer flat side I carefully scratch at the surface until I reach the white meat of the seed. I use an exacto blade, but my mother in law suggests using light sand paper. I know the seeds are quite small and care should be taken.

Next I wet a paper towel and squeeze out the excess water so I am left with a damp pieces of PT. I fold up the towel and place the seeds inside. Finally I place this in a sealed 'ziplock' or 'glad' container. Next I put this in a dark room temperature area such as a cupboard. In a week or two, check for germination.

When you transport your seedlings to their first grow area, keep them covered with plastic wrap to maintain the moisture until they are starting the second set of leafs.

Hope this helps,

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 11:06PM
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I too have seedlings that i started, all from the same pod. several have the normal leaves, and two have the special leaves - 3 lobed leaves that are long and skinny - tending to them hoping they survive babyhood.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 10:40PM
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